If you suffer from back pain, not only can getting through the day be difficult, but getting enough sleep will be more of a challenge. Finding a comfortable position can be tough, and you may be in pain when climbing in and out of bed. We all know how important sleep is for our health and wellbeing, so to make sleeping easier, here are some tips that can help.
Find the Right Position
While some sleeping positions can ease your back pain, others can cause more discomfort. You need to find a position that’s most comfortable for you. If you require extra support, sleeping with a pillow underneath or between your legs can help. For side sleepers, you should place the pillow between your knees. For those who sleep on their back, place the pillow under your knees. You should avoid sleeping on your stomach as it will put more strain on your back.
Invest in a New Mattress
If you’ve had your mattress for many years, there may be lumps and bumps which can exacerbate back pain. Should there be any visible sagging, this can be harmful for your spine health too. Therefore, investing in a new mattress that provides support and comfort is key for relieving pain. Many doctors used to recommend a firm mattress for people with back pain. However, those living with low back pain sleep worse on a hard mattress. Getting the best adjustable bed can lighten back pain, enhance circulation, lessen heartburn and acid reflux, and provide many other health benefits.
Take Short, Deep Breaths
When getting into bed, taking slow, deep breaths may help alleviate pain and discomfort, helping you to get a better night’s sleep. There are lots of calming mind-body effects that slow, rhythmic breathing has on the body so, if you’re in pain, breathing properly will relax your body and muscles in the lower and mid-back. Deep breathing exercises can also improve your immune system, calm down anxiety, boost energy levels, and reduce inflammation.
Exercise Your Core
If you suffer from back pain, the idea of exercise may be the last thing on your mind. However, getting into the habit of physical activity is a fantastic way to boost sleep quality. There are targeted exercises that can strengthen your core and also ease back pain. As you build on your flexibility and strength, this will decrease the risk of you straining your back as you sleep, and reduce the chance of muscle spasms throughout the night. Strengthening the muscles which support your spine will remove pressure from facet joints and the spinal discs.
For people with lower back pain, yoga can be incredibly helpful to muscles that support the spine and back. Before hitting the hay, trying gentle yoga stretches can improve sleep quality, reduce stress levels, and help you wake up feeling energized and ready for the day ahead. If you’re worried about doing more harm than good, it’s wise to speak to your doctor who will guide you on what poses are safe to practice. Until you can hold poses comfortably, it may be beneficial to use props like bolsters and blocks for extra support. You can also sign up for a yoga class and get advice and guidance from a qualified instructor. Millions of back pain sufferers swear by yoga and how it can ease arthritis symptoms and promote relaxation.
It’s estimated that 8% of US adults (16 million) experience chronic or persistent back pain, many of whom suffer getting a good night’s sleep. If this sounds like you, trying all the above may help in alleviating pain and discomfort.